Developers of hydrogen fuel cells have claimed that cause one-third less of the pollution that causes global warming than conventional electricity generation does.
According to a report in ENN, these fuel cells, which are made in Japan, are used by almost 2200 home owners, who draw their power and heat their hot water from this new technology.
Nearly every home in urban Japan is supplied with natural gas, making the implementation of hydrogen fuel cell power generation a simple transformation.
The flat grey fuel cell is about the size of a suitcase and is generally positioned next to the hot water heater tank, also on the outside of these homes. In the process of producing electricity, the fuel cell gives off enough warmth to heat water for the home.
The oxygen that the fuel cell uses, comes from the air and the hydrogen is extracted from natural gas by a device called a reformer, which is found in the same box as the fuel cell.
A byproduct of that process is poisonous carbon monoxide, which is handled via another process. Another machine in the gray box adds oxygen to the carbon monoxide to create carbon dioxide, which, although possibly contributes to global warming, is not poisonous.
There are some significant benefits to this application.
For example, the entire process produces less greenhouse gas per watt than traditional generation. Also, no energy is wasted transporting the electricity where it's actually going to be used.